Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Criminal Justice
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” - US Declaration of Independence
Despite many advancements recently, there is no shortage of work left to be done. There are far too many in this state and country who are too eager to strip us of our civil rights, making it harder to be treated as equals. Attempts to make it more difficult (or impossible) to vote; attempting to legislate people’s bodies and bodily autonomy; attempting to effectively turn any criminal conviction into a life sentence; and even attempting to make it more difficult to do what many of our own ancestors did - come to the United States and become Americans.
Each of these goes against who we are as a nation. Each of these ultimately makes us less free. It is the duty of every citizen, and indeed every human, to make sure that we lift each other up, protect each other, and work for a fairer and more just society.
Restoration of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and passage of the Voting Rights Amendment
Affirmative action in employment and education, including school desegregation efforts
Gay, lesbian and transgender rights, equal marriage, and amending the federal Human Rights Act or passage of the Equality Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation
Immigration policies which emphasize family reunification and provide a path to citizenship
Gun control and the right of municipalities to ban sales or possession of handguns and assault weapons
Repeal of the Patriot Act and passage of the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act
Reparations for the wrongfully imprisoned who are time-barred from seeking private relief
Legislation which limits the use of criminal records in making housing eligibility decisions as a civil or similar right.
A strong civilian oversight board for the Chicago Police Department, with power to fire superintendents
Legalization of recreational marijuana and equitable distribution of production and retail licenses to minority businesses
Stop and frisk laws
Government spying on voluntary, private organizations, whether civic, social, religious, or political.
Legislation that would abrogate civil rights or deny social services to immigrants
Drug testing without probable cause, but would support ability sobriety testing
Electronic eavesdropping and consensual monitoring for law enforcement purposes without a warrant based on probable cause
PRISM, Boundless Informant, and any similar programs to collect and maintain telecommunications data on US citizens not suspected of any crime